The Purple Rose of Cairo

The Purple Rose of Cairo

name = The Purple Rose of Cairo

caption = The Purple Rose of Cairo film poster
director = Woody Allen
producer = Robert Greenhut
writer = Woody Allen
starring = Mia Farrow
Jeff Daniels
Danny Aiello
music = Dick Hyman
cinematography = Gordon Willis
editing = Susan E. Morse
distributor = Orion Pictures
released = March 1,1985 (USA)
runtime = 84 minutes
language = English
country = USA
budget = $15,000,000 USD
imdb_id = 0089853

"The Purple Rose of Cairo" is an award-winning 1985 film written and directed by Woody Allen. It tells the story of a film character who leaves the film and enters the real world.


"The Purple Rose of Cairo" is the name of a film-within-the-film, with Jeff Daniels playing the dual roles of Tom, a character in the film-within-the-film, and Gil, the actor who portrays Tom. Tom literally breaks the fourth wall, emerging from the black-and-white into the colorful real world on the other side of the cinema's screen. He is drawn out by Cecilia (played by Mia Farrow), a film buff who goes to the movies to escape her bleak Great Depression life and loveless marriage to Monk (Danny Aiello), who she has attempted to leave numerous times. The producer of the film finds out that Tom has left the film, and he and Gil fly cross-country to the New Jersey theater where it happened. This sets up an unusual love triangle involving Tom, Gil and Cecilia. The downbeat ending is that Gil abandons Cecilia and returns to Hollywood but is last seen quietly wracked with guilt. Having been left without a lover, job or home (but most likely to return to her abusive husband), Cecilia is ends up sitting in a theater watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing to "Cheek-to-Cheek" in the film "Top Hat", forgetting her dire situation and losing herself in the film.

Filming locations

A number of the scenes featuring Tom and Cecilia are set at the Bertrand Island Amusement Park, which closed just prior to the film's production. It was also filmed at the Raritan Diner in South Amboy, New Jersey. Today the diner is located in Ithaca, New York.


Farrow, Daniels and Aiello play the leading roles. Actors playing significant roles in the film-within-the-film include Van Johnson, Zoe Caldwell, John Wood, Milo O'Shea and Edward Herrmann. Dianne Wiest and Glenne Headly (among others) play prostitutes whom Tom innocently encounters along the way.

Allen's opinion

In a rare public appearance at the National Film Theatre in 2001, Allen listed "The Purple Rose of Cairo" as one of only a few of his films that ended up being "fairly close to what I wanted to do" when he set out to write it. [ [,,562687,00.html Woody Allen (II) interview] from "The Guardian Unlimited"] Allen provided more detail about the film's origins in a comment he made a year earlier, during a press junket for "Small Time Crooks"::


Box office

"The Purple Rose of Cairo" opened in North America on March 1, 1985 in 3 theaters, where it grossed an exceptional $114,095 ($38,031 per screen) in its opening weekend. Box office settled down upon further expansions, and its total gross of $10,631,333 was in line with most Woody Allen films of the period. [ [ "The Purple Rose of Cairo" statistics] from]


The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film and the César Award for Best Foreign Film. Allen's screenplay was nominated for several major awards, including an Oscar, a BAFTA Award and a Writers Guild of America Award. It was recognized as one of the "ALL-TIME 100 best films" by "Time" magazine. [ [,23220,the_purple_rose_of_cairo,00.html "The Purple Rose of Cairo"] from "Time" magazine "All-Time 100 Movies"]


External links

*imdb title|id=0089853|title=The Purple Rose of Cairo
* [ Roller coasters, Aristotle, and the films of Woody Allen] . a 2001 article from the "Literature Film Quarterly"
* [,6737,562682,00.html Woody Allen 2001 interview] at the National Film Theatre
* [ Woody Allen interview] during the press junket for "Small Time Crooks"

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
before = "The Killing Fields"
after = "A Room with a View"
title = BAFTA Award for Best Film
years = 1986|

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